AURORA, N.Y. – Trailing by a 14-0 margin within the game's first 3:33, the Wells College men's basketball team outscored their opponent the rest of the way to secure a 72-69 victory over the Fighting Tigers of SUNY Cobleskill Saturday afternoon at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the victory, the Express improve to 3-5 overall on the year and to 3-0 within North Eastern Athletic Conference play. The Fighting Tigers (1-6, 0-3 NEAC) remain winless in league play on the season.
Wells was paced by junior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.) and his 19 total points on the afternoon, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor while pulling down six rebounds to tie for the team lead in that category. Senior captain Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) ranked second on the team, burying 10-of-11 from the foul line en route to a 14 point performance. Junior EZ Garcia (Cotulla, Texas) set a career-high in point scoring, bombing three baskets beyond the arc for 13 total points.
The Fighting Tigers opened up a commanding 14-0 lead within the game's opening minutes, utilizing three slam dunks and two three-pointers to build their game-high lead. Wells, however, countered with a run of their own, using three-pointers from Garcia and junior Erich Kaempffe (North Rose, N.Y.) to cut the score to four points with 13:37 remaining in the half.
In total, Wells and SUNY Cobleskill tied the score eight different times and saw the lead change six different times. In the stanza's final minute, the Fighting Tigers utilized layups from Brandon Smith and Justin Nolan to elevate the guests to a 39-37 halftime lead.
The second half saw six more additional lead changes as each team kept a close distance to their opponent. A Matthew Hutchinson three-point basket with 2:20 remaining in the second half granted the guests a 69-67 lead, but the Express scored the game's remaining five points at the free throw line to put the game away. Down the stretch, Paul converted all four of his attempts at the charity stripe to close out the game for the Express.
Cortrell King led all Fighting Tigers with 31 total points, shooting 10-of-16 from the floor and pouring home 9-of-14 from the free throw line. Smith ranked second, recording 13 total points via a 5-for-9 performance from the floor. Alexis Nunez posted 11 assists for SUNY Cobleskill, leading both teams in that category.
Wells returns to action Friday, Dec. 20 as they face-off against Manhattanville College in a 1:00 p.m. road contest.